Referrals to solicitors

This section explains the procedures for solicitors acting for clients in judicial review cases.

This content applies to Scotland


Advisers should generally be aware of solicitors in their area who deal with judicial review. When making a referral to a solicitor it is important that the adviser sends all relevant papers to the solicitor and it is useful if the adviser includes a covering letter summarising a history of the case and giving at least some indication as to why the adviser considers that the case is suitable for judicial review and what are the pertinent legal issues.

Advisers should ensure referrals are made promptly keeping in mind the three month time limit when raising judical review action.

Legal aid

Challenging a local authority's decision by way of judicial review can be extremely costly if the applicant is not eligible for legal aid. It may be that the threat of judicial review is enough to change an authority's mind. However the adviser's tactics may be influenced by whether the applicant is likely to be eligible for legal aid.

Legal Aid is based on a person's income and capital. The section on Legal Aid for more detailed information. An award of legal aid also depends on whether the legal aid board perceive the applicant as having a good case.


Solicitors acting for clients in judicial review cases will follow the steps laid down in the judicial review procedure of the Rules of the Court of Session. [1] Judicial review may involve two stages: a first hearing with a subsequent fuller second hearing of the case where required. There may be further continuations. There is no need in Scotland to seek leave for judicial review.

Last updated: 10 January 2020


  • [1]

    See Rules of the Court of Session, Chapter 58